U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
EDITORS AND CORRESPONDENTS
On June 19, 1998, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published a notice
of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
(FMCSRs) to require that interstate motor carriers install retroreflective tape
or reflex reflectors on the sides and rear of trailers manufactured prior to
December 1,1993. The rulemaking is intended to help motorists detect trailers
at night and during periods of poor visibility and reduce collisions of passenger
vehicles with the sides or rear of trailers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration now requires trailer manufacturers
to equip trailers manufactured on or after December 1, 1993, with red and white
retroreflective material on the sides and rear, and the FHWA currently requires
motor carriers to maintain the retroreflective material on the trailers manufactured
since December 1993.
The NPRM proposes that motor carriers retrofit their trailers within two years
of the effective date of the final rule. Some flexibility in colors or color
combinations would be afforded for a 10-year period, but all older trailers
would have to be equipped with red-and-white conspicuity treatments at the end
of the 10-year period. The locations for applications of the reflective material
during the phase-in period would be the same as on new trailers, with the exception
of the rear underride device.
Comments to the NPRM (rulemaking docket number FHWA-MC-1997-2222) are due on
or before September 17, 1998.
Internet users can access all comments received by the U.S. DOT Dockets, Room
PL-401, by using the universal resource locator (URL): http://dms.dot.gov . It
is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year.
If your publication would like more information on this rulemaking, please
call our media relations contact, Janet Kumer, at 202-366-0079.
George L. Reagle
Associate Administrator for Motor Carriers
updated June 19, 1998